An Idaho nonprofit that began in 2009 as a conservative think tank has risen to wield enormous power over what bills are brought forward during a legislative session, what talking points lawmakers make on the floor of the House or Senate, and even how legislators cast their votes.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation’s influence could be felt most keenly last session on the subject of Critical Race Theory. A college-level academic concept, the approach advances the idea that racism is a social construct embedded in policy decisions and law, rather than existing solely in the biases of individual people.

Although the concept has been around for decades, it has become a conservative watchword in the last year or so for those who claim that it is a form of indoctrination designed to make white people feel ashamed or inferior. Opponents also say that CRT is being taught to Idaho children as young as preschool.

That’s not true, according to Idaho teachers at every level of education.

But you would not know that listening in to debates on the House floor over Critical Race Theory last session.

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